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TCA’s middle school academics foster spiritual development and personal responsibility and accountability as students prepare academically for high school.

These are formative years for students as they solidify their social and spiritual identity. This is also the point in academics when students can start choosing electives or specialties, begin taking more personal responsibility and accountability in their schoolwork, and start making preparations for their future pursuits.

6th Grade

6th Grade begins the transition to middle school level. Students are moved from a team teaching classroom in 4th and 5th grade to departmentalized instruction in core curriculum classes with emphasis in developing:

  • Responsibility
  • Independence
  • Social Interaction
  • Spiritual Growth

At first glance, 6th-graders may seem shy and reticent. But with the help and guidance of TCA’s teachers and also from older students, they soon adapt to the routine of changing classrooms, dealing with a variety of teachers, and more rigorous academic requirements.

Science
Using Science 6 by BJU Press, students progress through several units that introduce the facets of earth science, cells and organisms, matter and energy, astronomy, heredity, and the nervous and immune systems of the body. We look at scientific facts from a Christian worldview and participate in several hands-on science projects and experiments.

English
Using Sadlier’s Grammar for Writing, Level “Red,” students are engaged in grade-specific goals for the writing process and language conventions. We will also use Sadlier’s Vocabulary Workshop Level A to engage students with a multimedia approach in mastering the meaning of more complex words—especially those that draw their meaning primarily from context.

Reading/Literature
Mosdos Press’ Literature, Coral Edition is an anthology that includes short stories and poems that focus on identifying and exploring key literary themes. Students will analyze age-appropriate novels that utilize the themes discussed in class.

Bible
Using the Positive Action for Christ, Winning the Race Bible curriculum, we draw from the entire Word of God to encourage students in principles that affect their entire lives. Using characters from the Old and New Testament and the life of Christ, we study the different ways God works in someone’s life. The text also includes an overview of Revelation.

History
BJU Press’ Heritage Studies 6 is part of a social studies program teaching history, geography, government, economics and culture through the lens of a biblical worldview. We will focus on the beginning of civilizations and their relationship to God and His truth. Students will use writing, oration, and creativity to demonstrate understanding of these topics.

Math
Saxon Math (courses 1-3) is taught throughout middle school. This curriculum divides math concepts into small, easily-understood pieces that span several lessons. Each daily lesson incorporates daily spiral reviews to aid students in practicing and applying learned math concepts. Typically, a sixth grader would begin with Course 1.

Spanish (Grades 5-8)
Rosetta Stone Language Foundations: Spanish Fundamentals (Levels 1-5 available)

Students with limited or no exposure to the Spanish language are able to develop everyday conversational skills through this classroom format of the Rosetta Stone software. Students progress at their own pace, beginning with Level 1. Each level provides opportunities to review and retake units and levels in order to achieve an appropriate level of mastery. Their learning follows with them as they progress from grade to grade. This program allows for a uniquely designed, guided, self-paced environment that focuses on grasping the fundamentals of the language through speech feedback and live tutoring.

Additionally, students can access a month’s worth of training in German, French, Italian, Korean, Chinese, and more.

Computers
Students will learn to master touch typing skills reinforced by training sessions and games that boost their typing speed and accuracy. This helps them prepare for ongoing computer use in their middle school experience. Students also learn the basics of MLA formatting and Internet Researching Tools in preparation for writing research papers and other projects. Additionally, students will become familiar with Microsoft Office.

7th Grade

During this year of middle school, emphasis is placed more fully on developing student maturity, working closely with 8th-graders, and continued growth in academic responsibility and independence.

This year is an opportunity for students to hone their identity while developing maturity levels that allow them to interact with older students more readily.

Science
Using Life Science by BJU Press, we cover the foundations of life science, heredity and the origin of life. We look at concepts in microbiology, plant biology, the animal kingdom, the nature of the environment, and several basics of anatomy and physiology. Students are to be prepared for many science experiments for each unit, including dissections of earthworm, crayfish, perch, and frog.

English
Using Sadlier’s Grammar for Writing, Level “Purple,” students are engaged in grade-specific goals for the writing process and language conventions. We will also use Sadlier’s Vocabulary Workshop Level B to engage students with a multimedia approach in mastering the meaning of more complex words—especially those that draw their meaning primarily from context.

Literature
Literature classes also begin a two-year progression that begins in 7th Grade. In studying a variety of nonfiction and fiction prose, poetry, short stories, novels, and drama, these two years will cover materials from Mosdos Press’ Literature, Jade series, as well as individual works of literature from the Bible.

Students will explore an advance look at setting, character, plot and theme, as well as investigate the specifics of plot structure, such as exposition, rising action, conflict, climax, falling action, and resolution.

Students also investigate a variety of poetry and hymns as exercises in critical thinking and literary analysis. They will learn a variety of methods, including lecture, group activities, literary circles, individualized learning, student-led learning, and online materials. Additionally, an in-depth vocabulary program draws terms and vernacular from each studied work of literature.

Bible
We use the Route 66 Positive Action for Christ Bible Curriculum to give middle schoolers the big picture of the Bible. They discover how the Bible’s divisions relate, the context of each part, and how each fits into God’s plan. Students will understand the primary themes of Scripture, providing a solid foundation for future studies. We also discuss how to apply biblical principles to daily life.

History
Our history classes are a two-year continuation, starting in 7th Grade. Students begin with World Studies and then back to American Heritage utilizing the BJU Press curriculum.

We look at key events in world history, examining topics such as creation, cultural development, colonization throughout the earth, revolutions and their founding ideas, World Wars, and the global community.

Students will gain experience in writing, reporting, group projects and interactive class activities that correspond with the current history lesson.

Math
Saxon Math (courses 1-3) is taught throughout middle school. This curriculum divides math concepts into small, easily-understood pieces that span several lessons. Each daily lesson incorporates daily spiral reviews to aid students in practicing and applying learned math concepts. A seventh grade student would typically take Course 2; however, advanced students may be permitted to take Course 3 in preparation for completing Algebra 1 in the eighth grade.

Spanish (Grades 5-8)
Rosetta Stone Language Foundations: Spanish Fundamentals (Levels 1-5 available)

Students with limited or no exposure to the Spanish language are able to develop everyday conversational skills through this classroom format of the Rosetta Stone software. Students progress at their own pace, beginning with Level 1. Each level provides opportunities to review and retake units and levels in order to achieve an appropriate level of mastery. Their learning follows with them as they progress from grade to grade. This program allows for a uniquely designed, guided, self-paced environment that focuses on grasping the fundamentals of the language through speech feedback and live tutoring.

Additionally, students can access a month’s worth of training in German, French, Italian, Korean, Chinese, and more.

Computers
In preparation for high school projects, students in this class continue to hone their typing skills and review MLA format. They will learn to use resources such as the OWL (Online Writing Lab) from Purdue University, CNN Student News, eLibrary research, Internet Public Library, and several more in order to develop their skills in research.

8th Grade

Our priorities for 8th Grade work to establish a smooth transition to high school through increasing demand for independence and responsibility, enhancing spiritual maturity, and increasing student capacity for critical thinking and analysis.

With the vision of high school before them, 8th graders are encouraged to develop a more serious attitude toward being responsible and independent, both in and out of the classroom. At the end of the school year, 8th-graders will write formal commencement speeches to be presented at graduation (apart from Valedictorian and Salutatorian speeches).

Eighth-graders will also enjoy an individual photo shoot in Princeton, NJ for the yearbook, an end-of-year field trip to Great Adventure, and opportunities to take the lead fundraising efforts for the end of the year middle school social.

Science
Using Earth Science by BJU Press, students study the creationist view of earth’s history and disprove evolutionary views. Scientific philosophies and models of our earth are studied as well as meteorology, geology, and oceanography.

English
Using Sadlier’s Grammar for Writing Level “Yellow,” students are engaged in grade-specific goals for the writing process and language conventions. We will also use Sadlier’s Vocabulary Workshop Level C to engage students with a multimedia approach in mastering the meaning of more complex words—especially those that draw their meaning primarily from context.

Literature
In studying a variety of nonfiction and fiction prose, poetry, short stories, novels, and drama, these two years will cover materials from MOSDOS Literature – Jade series, as well as individual works of literature from the Bible.

Students explore an advance look at setting, character, plot and theme, as well as investigate the specifics of plot structure, such as exposition, rising action, conflict, climax, falling action, and resolution.

Students will also investigate a variety of poetry and hymns as exercises in critical thinking and literary analysis. They will learn a variety of methods, including lecture, group activities, literary circles, individualized learning, student-led learning, and online materials.

Students will also participate in an in-depth vocabulary program that draws terms and vernacular from studied works of literature.

Bible
Using Wise Up, Wisdom in Proverbs and Positive Action for Christ Bible Curriculum, the goal of this course is to make the Bible meaningful to students. From the study of Proverbs, students gain insight into God’s Word and into the worth and purpose of their own lives. We emphasize life application for everyday student issues.

History
These two years of History study are a two-year progression starting with World Studies and then back to American Heritage utilizing the BJU Press curriculum. In 8th Grade, students continue to survey United States history with the goal of a comprehensive overview of our nation’s progression from discover to the 21st Century.

Math
Saxon Math (courses 1-3) is taught throughout middle school. This curriculum divides math concepts into small, easily-understood pieces that span several lessons. Each daily lesson incorporates daily spiral reviews to aid students in practicing and applying learned math concepts. A seventh grade student would typically take Course 2; however, advanced students may be permitted to take Course 3 in preparation for completing Algebra 1 in the eighth grade.

Spanish (Grades 5-8)
Rosetta Stone Language Foundations: Spanish Fundamentals (Levels 1-5 available)

Students with limited or no exposure to the Spanish language are able to develop everyday conversational skills through this classroom format of the Rosetta Stone software. Students progress at their own pace, beginning with Level 1. Each level provides opportunities to review and retake units and levels in order to achieve an appropriate level of mastery. Their learning follows with them as they progress from grade to grade. This program allows for a uniquely designed, guided, self-paced environment that focuses on grasping the fundamentals of the language through speech feedback and live tutoring.

Additionally, students can access a month’s worth of training in German, French, Italian, Korean, Chinese, and more.

Computers
In preparation for high school projects, students in this class continue to hone their typing skills and review MLA format. They will learn to use resources such as the OWL (Online Writing Lab) from Purdue University, CNN Student News, eLibrary research, Internet Public Library, and several more in order to develop their skills in research.

Special Activities and Events
    • Camp Dark Waters: Students are involved in group problem-solving activities and teambuilding exercises to foster unity, leadership skills and cooperation.
    • Annual field trip to a drama performance
    • End-of-year Middle School Social
    • Operation Christmas Child provides an opportunity to participate in a service project that has a far-reaching impact for those less fortunate.
    • ACSI Leadership Conference provides opportunity for selected middle school students to develop spiritual leadership while participating in activities and seminars with other students from area Christian schools

Academic competitions:

    • ACSI Spelling Bee
    • ACSI Math Olympics
    • TCA Science Fair
Elective Options
  • Yearbook: Students work together with dedicated sponsors to compile photography, event coverage, conversations and quotes to craft each school year’s essence so they can have a concrete reminder of that season of their lives. This is a great leadership opportunity.
  • Select Choir: Students from Grades 5-8 may audition for this opportunity to perform as a group. Both sacred and secular songs, including classical pieces in other languages, will be featured in each year’s collection. This is a great chance to vocally prepare able students for high school choirs. And each Spring, our Select Choir performs at a regional choir competition.
  • AV Tech: Students interested in sound and video technology will learn about basic equipment operation and will also assist with setup and running sound and video for various school performances.
  • Study Skills: This class is required for middle school students to learn note-taking techniques and time management skills, as well as reading for comprehension and organization. The curriculum is designed to help students build effective study skills that aptly prepare them for the rigor of high school academics.
  • Art: Students in Grades 7-8 can choose an art class as their elective, allowing for colorful creative expression.